Court to State: Churches Have Free Speech Too

free_speech

It’s still free speech…”Whether you like it or not”

Note to all those out there salivating, waiting for churches to lose their tax exempt status for their involvement in promoting traditional marriage in the last election.  Courts in Montana are reaffirming religion’s free speech rights.

Montana was one of the states which voted to reaffirm the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.  Marriage being a moral issue, churches across the nation are taking a stand for marriage, but some people think the church should be muzzled from public speaking on the issue.

Hear this from the judge ruling in this case:

“The media are free to promote political opinions without registering as independent political committees and without disclosing the identity of those owning the facilities used to promote the opinions. The most likely sources of potent political input into an election are removed from the statute’s scope. The generality of the statute is destroyed. The neutrality of the statute is preserved as to the media while all religious expressions on a ballot measure are swept within its requirements. The disparity between the treatment of the media and the treatment of churches is great and gross,” he said.”

Common sense from the Judiciary!

—Beetle Blogger

See more on this from WorldNetDaily:

Court: State trashed church’s 1st Amendment rights

Encouraging members to support traditional marriage is protected speech

An appeals court ruled the state of Montana violated a church’s First Amendment rights to encourage its members to support traditional marriage.

The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the state’s determination that the church was an “incidental political committee” because members promoted and signed petitions supporting traditional marriage, and the pastor also encouraged it.

The complaint against Ferry Road Baptist Church of East Helena was sparked by a complaint from a homosexual activist group, the court ruling noted. The Alliance Defense Fund took up the fight for the church by filing a lawsuit in 2004 after the state issued its ruling against the church.

“Churches shouldn’t be penalized for expressing their beliefs. They should never be forced to forfeit their free speech rights just because the government decides to enact unconstitutional laws requiring them to remain silent on social issues,” said ADF Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt, who litigated the case with co-counsel Tim Fox of the Helena law firm of Gough, Shanahan, Johnson & Waterman.

Because Every Child Deserves a Mom and a Dad

every_child_deserves_a_mom_and_a_dad

I Support Marriage

Proposition 8 won in California by the same margin of victory as Barack Obama for president. Next Thursday, March 5, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to determine whether the sovereign will of the people should be upheld, and whether marriage between only a man and a woman will stand.

This is the most important legal issue impacting society in a generation and will impact generations to come. The outcome of this case will affect and influence court decisions across the country.

We need to remind the media, Californians and Americans everywhere that support for traditional marriage that has now been twice proven by the majority of Californians.  Prop 8 is a fair and equal law for all and deserves our continued support!

1. Proposition 8 was supported by over 7 million voters, and we call on those who support traditional marriage to pray for it to be upheld. Please ask God for wisdom for the Justices of the California Supreme Court.

2. Pray for those who oppose this amendment to our Constitution, that they would understand our motivation is to affirm traditional marriage, not to offend any person or group.

3. Educate yourself about the issue.
Prop 8| Revision v. Amendment:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=65482803763&ref=ts

————

If you can go to the courthouse in San Francisco:
1. All messages on homemade signs should affirm traditional marriage, and avoid offensive statements regarding alternative lifestyles.

2. Arrive at the courthouse by 8am

3. Avoid violence and provocation. Our purpose is affirming traditional marriage.

———————————
Talking Points:
———————————

“Prop 8 Revises, Rather than Amends, the Constitution?”

• A revision requires a “substantial change” to the “underlying principles” of the entire constitution. Applying the historic definition for marriage to all citizens equally constitutes a valid amendment. Article 2, Section 8 of the state Constitution clearly sets forth the initiative process as a valid means of amending the Constitution. Codifying the definition of marriage via Proposition 8 was a proper amendment to the state Constitution.

“Undermines Equal Protection?”

• Equal Protection under the Constitution requires laws be applied regardless of an individual’s characteristics or situation, just as justice is administered blindly. Proposition 8’s amendment applies the definition of marriage equally, to heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals and all legal adults. Proposition 8 is actually the perfect example of a law that applies equally to all citizens.

“Eliminates Fundamental Rights?”

• Proposition 8 does not eliminate a fundamental right for only minority groups. It places the restrictions of marriage on all citizens equally. Just as same-sex individuals may not marry, so heterosexuals may not engage in polygamous relationships. There is also no fundamental right to marriage. That “right” was created by the California Supreme Court when it overturned Proposition 22.

“Violates Separation of Powers Doctrine?”

• Proposition 8 and the initiative process do not “strip the courts” of their constitutional function. In fact, Proposition 8 was a direct response to the California Supreme Court’s violation of the separation of powers doctrine. By striking down a law passed via the constitutional initiative process, the Court overstepped its authority and usurped the powers of the legislative branch and the constitutional initiative process.

Los Angeles Tea Party Event!

tcot_rally16

What About Equality? The Rhetorical Twist List

Answering Advocates of Gay Marriage

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The Twist List

With the CA Supreme Court convening on proposition 8, same-sex marriage questions abound.  I’m making this Q&A list sticky for the next few weeks, so it will appear before the rest of the posts down below.  These are Common Claims that Advocates of Gay Marriage Make…click a claim to see each refutation.  –Beetle Blogger

Claim 1: Marriage is an institution designed to foster the love between two people. Gay people can love each other just as straight people can. Ergo, marriage should be open to gay people.
Claim 2: Not all straight couples have children, but no one argues that their marriages are unacceptable
Claim 3: Some gay couples do have children and therefore need marriage to provide the appropriate context.
Claim 4: Marriage and the family are always changing anyway, so why not allow this change?
Claim 5: Marriage and the family have already changed, so why not acknowledge the reality?
Claim 6: Children would be no worse off with happily married gay parents than they are with unhappily married straight ones.
Claim 7: Given global overpopulation, why would anyone worry about some alleged need to have more children in any case?
Claim 8: Marriage should change, whether it already has or not, because patriarchal institutions are evil.
Claim 9: Gay marriage has had historical and anthropological precedents.
Claim 10: Banning gay marriage is like banning interracial marriage.
Claim 11: The case for gay marriage is more “poignant” than the case against it.
Claim 12: Gay marriage is necessary for the self-esteem of a minority.
Claim 13: Anyone who opposes same-sex marriage is homophobic.
Claim 14: Exceptions could be made for religious communities that disapprove of gay marriage, or religious communities could simply add their rites to those of the state.
Claim 15: To sustain an “ethic of caring and responsibility,” we must include gay people in every institution.
Claim 16: Norms of any kind at all are discriminatory.
Claim 17: Almost everyone believes in equality. How can we have that if gay citizens are denied the same rights as other citizens?
Claim 18: Winning the struggle for gay marriage is important for the cause of gay liberation.
Claim 19: What about majority rule in democratic countries?
Claim 20: But gay people are a small minority. Allowing them to marry would mean nothing more than a slight alteration to the existing system and would even add support for the institution. What’s all the fuss about?

For Entire Q&A List with Answers Click Here

Marriage Matters to Kids!

Because No State has the Authority to Deny Children the Fundamental Right to both a Mother and a Father

www.marriagematterstokids.org

As I was out and about today I came across these some resources from our Catholic friends that I hadn’t seen before.  I thought I’d pass them along. Good stuff here!  –Beetle Blogger

every_child_deserves_a_mom_and_a_dad2

Open Letter Response to Senator Leno and SR7

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Senator Leno,

In a recent letter to one of your constituents, you made a case for the reasoning behind authoring SR7 in direct violation of the public’s trust.  With all due respect, your office has some explaining to do to the Republic of California, for betraying that trust.  Our Constitution, which you are sworn to protect and uphold begins with this opening statement:

“We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.”

Our Constitution was established by the people of California.  The Legislature was established by the people of California, as was the Governorship and the Judiciary.  This government was entirely established by the people, and as the Constitution itself states:

“All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require.”

Your duty and honor as an elected member of the Legislative body is to act as an agent for the voice of the people.  You are trusted with the responsibility not only to enact law on behalf of the people, but to also respect law duly enacted by the voice of the people, yet you, in connection with your cohorts in the Legislature, have instead continued to seek to thwart the will of the people, while unscrupulously claiming to uphold it.   In your letter, you wrote that proposition 8 was

“…a structural change to the Constitution, rather than an amendment…”

yet you know full well that a revision requires a “substantial change” to the “underlying principles” of the entire constitution.  Applying the historic definition for marriage to all citizens equally constitutes a valid amendment.  Article 2, Section 8 of the state Constitution clearly sets forth the initiative process as a valid means of amending the Constitution. Codifying the definition of marriage via Proposition 8 was a proper amendment to our state Constitution.

Proposition 8, which supports marriage for all legal adults regardless of distinction, grants access to the institution of marriage for all citizens equally, yet you write that Proposition 8 is not an equal law, but seeks to:

“…eliminate the fundamental right of marriage for a particular minority group on the basis of a suspect classification – sexual orientation….”

This twisted and divisive language attempts to inflame raw emotion rather than expose actual truth.  The definition of marriage is applied to all citizens, regardless of race, color or any other division.  Just as same-sex individuals may not call their relationship marriage, so heterosexuals may not engage in polygamous relationships and call them marriage.  There has never been a fundamental right to change the definition of any word, including marriage.

Claiming that proposition 8 violates, rather than upholds “Equal Protection” for all citizens, you wrote that it

…would substantially alter our basic governmental plan by eliminating equal protection as a structural check on the exercise of majority power…by permitting majorities to force groups defined by suspect classifications to fight to protect their fundamental rights under the California Constitution…”

You imply that some minority is under attack, yet you know that Proposition 8’s amendment applies the definition of marriage equally, to heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals and all legal adults.  All groups have equal access to marriage regardless of sexual orientation.

To be clear:  ANY adult in California can be married regardless of sexual orientation. NO adult in California may call a relationship marriage unless it is an exclusive relationship with another adult of the opposite sex who is not a close relative. Defining marriage does not exclude any group of people, it applies equally for all groups.

Equal Protection under the Constitution requires laws be applied regardless of an individual’s characteristics or situation, just as justice is administered blindly.  A modification of the definition of the word marriage to include the actions of one special interest group subverts the idea of equal protection.   Proposition 8 as it is written is actually the perfect example of a law that applies equally to all citizens.

In this case, you have not only failed to uphold your oath to the people and the people’s Constitution, but your actions have gone beyond your jurisdiction to even encourage other branches of the government to act in collusion with you in order to thwart the twice declared will of the people.  You write that your proposed resolution (SR7) would:

“…put the Senate on record that Proposition 8 did not follow the proper process and should be overturned as an invalid revision to the California Constitution. SR 7 would safeguard the integrity of our constitutionally required checks and balances…”

Far from safeguarding the integrity of our system, in a clear violation of the separation of powers, you are asking the Legislature to tell the Judiciary how to rule.  Is attempting to influence the Judiciary “proper process” Senator?  This is not in support of the separation of powers, it is in direct violation of the separation of powers; powers given to you by the very people you seek to forcefully disenfranchise with this bill.

This effort is a slap in the face of millions of California’s citizens.  Democracy is watching, Senator.

Using this issue to inflame divisions in our state for your own political benefit, witnesses to your closing remarks in the SR7 hearing reported that you went so far as to liken your state’s voters to Germans who supported the Nazi regime prior to World War II!

“It is stunning to hear a California senator compare good, decent Californians to Nazis,” stated Karen England, President of Capitol Resource Institute, who was present at the hearing. “How dare an arrogant senator compare the political battle over homosexual marriage to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Senator Leno should apologize to the millions of voters who supported Proposition 8. And he should stop using such inflammatory, hateful language.

Proposition 8 promotes clarity and equality as a valid constitutional amendment, duly voted in according to law and democratic process.  It is not a sleight of hand or twist of semantics aimed at any one group, major or minor.  It is an explicit affirmation of marriage as an institution, equally applicable to all Californians regardless of distinctions.

We as Californians are outraged that our lawmakers continue to muddy the issues with inflammatory and inaccurate dramatics, crafted to enrage, divide, and subvert the people’s will in choosing how they are governed.  We call on you and all other esteemed lawmakers entrusted with governing our great state, to uphold and support the law of the people.

With All Sincerity,

The People of California

Vote Stomp Leno Attempts to Validate Violating the Public Trust

california_vote_stomped

Senator Leno and his cohorts in the California State Legislature have some explaining to do.  Here’s their first attempt.  This letter was sent to a friend of mine (*name has been changed for privacy):

Hi California Voters*,

I hope this information helps clarify why Senator Leno is moving forward with his resolution SR7.

BACKGROUND

The California Legislature made history in 2005 by passing the first bill in the United States that would allow same-sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses. The Legislature passed a nearly identical bill again in 2007. Both measures were vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In a May 2008 decision relying heavily on California’s legislative history relating to marriage for same-sex couples, the California Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the fundamental right to marriage and struck down California’s law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. Following the Court’s landmark decision approximately 18,000 same-sex couples wed in California. The historic “Summer of Love” following the Court’s ruling captured international attention and encouraged other states, such as Connecticut and New York, to follow suit in allowing or recognizing marriage for same-sex couples.

So California Voters, in response to our discussion, the CA Supreme Court already ruled that denying same sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. So opponents to this said, “Ok then, I guess we will just change the constitution.” That’s when the initiative process began… a whole different issue…

In February of 2008, out-of-state extremist organizations began circulating petitions to place a discriminatory marriage measure on California’s November ballot. What later qualified as Proposition 8 sought to permanently enshrine discrimination into the California Constitution. Civil rights groups quickly filed suit with the California Supreme Court in the case of Bennett v. Bowen, arguing that Prop 8 should not move forward for a popular vote without going to the Legislature first because it was a revision, or structural change to the Constitution, rather than an amendment. The Court declined to hear the case.

So the court never ruled on the issue of whether it was a revision or amendment because they argued that it was too early to bring the case to the court. The court doesn’t rule on hypothetical laws. If they did, and it didn’t pass, all of that work would be for nothing. So they said, “come back to us if it passes.”

And that’s exactly what we’re doing in the Resolution….

On November 4, 2008 Prop 8 passed by a narrow 52 percent margin. Civil rights organizations again filed suit with the California Supreme Court, asking that it overturn the initiative as an invalid revision. The Court accepted review of the case and could rule as early as June 2009. California Attorney General Jerry Brown recently filed his brief in the litigation on behalf of the state, arguing that he could not defend Prop 8 as it is in direct conflict with the guarantees of liberty and privacy contained in the Constitution.

So the court kept their promise, and they will rule on whether it is a revision or amendment in June.

PROPOSITION 8 WAS AN IMPROPER REVISION

Article XVIII of the California Constitution provides that while an amendment to the Constitution can be accomplished through the initiative process, a revision must originate in the Legislature and must be approved by a two-thirds vote before being submitted to the electorate.

In addition, Article III of the California Constitution establishes separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government and a system of checks and balances. Under Article III, the courts have the ultimate authority to interpret and enforce the principle of equal protection, and the Legislature has a crucial deliberative role in any proposed revision of our Constitution.

Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate the fundamental right of marriage for a particular minority group on the basis of a suspect classification – sexual orientation – while permitting the majority to retain that fundamental right. The initiative would substantially alter our basic governmental plan by eliminating equal protection as a structural check on the exercise of majority power and by permitting majorities to force groups defined by suspect classifications to fight to protect their fundamental rights under the California Constitution at every election. As such, Proposition 8 is an improper revision, sidestepping the constitutionally required rigors of the legislative process and depriving the Legislature of its role to examine and debate such a significant change to the principles and structure that underlie the California Constitution.

WHAT THIS RESOLUTION WOULD DO

Senate Resolution 7 would specify that significant revisions to the Constitution mandate distinct procedures and require a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature before going to the voters. It would put the Senate on record that Proposition 8 did not follow the proper process and should be overturned as an invalid revision to the California Constitution. SR 7 would safeguard the integrity of our constitutionally required checks and balances and help to ensure that minority rights are not stripped away at the ballot box by a simple vote of the majority.

Our Resolution does not say how the Court should rule, it just says that it is the opinion of the legislature that their authority to vote by 2/3 of each house was denied. We agree that you can revise the constitution, you just have to do it in the proper way. The process that everyone else has had to follow. If voters feel so strongly about this, they shouldn’t have a problem getting their representative to support this.

I hope this information helps,

(staffer)

Somehow just seeing all that twisted rhetoric pinned down to one sheet of paper just makes me want to get out my red pen.  Don’t you agree?  Ok, so that is their argument, let’s poke some holes in it.  Open Thread!  Let the rebuttals begin!

—Beetle Blogger

TCOT Chicago Tea Party Across the Nation!

bostonteaparty2009small

With all that is happening nationwide, and statewide to counter our basic freedoms, I felt the need to pass this information along.   –Beetle Blogger

Plan to participate in this important, peaceful event to protest the Obama Administration’s and our the US Congresses’ economic policies and massive spending bills! Many of our politicians and elected officials have become so removed from reality, they do not even listen to us anymore! It is time we stand up as citizens of this great land and let our voices be heard! This is our country too!

Citizens of the Greater Los Angeles Area:

Let’s take part in the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party

Friday, February 27, 2009 9:00 – 10:00 AM

Gather at the very edge of the Santa Monica Pier, to say to our local, state and federal governments:
Enough is enough!!!

If you are fed up with LA City Hall, Capital Hill in Sacramento, and/or DC’s waste of you hard earned tax dollars, join us at the Santa Monica Pier on Friday morning, 9:00 AM. At that exact time other citizens across the nation will be ‘tea partying’ to protest our governments’ irresponsible use of the powers WE have granted them.

This tea party at the pier, like most others,is not organized by an established political ‘apparatus’ – it’s all grassroots! I am just a law abiding, hardworking, taxpaying citizen like you…

LOS ANGELES Tea Party

revolution_chicago_tea_party

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=131230090601&ref=share

PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANY AMERICANS IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK WHO ARE INTERESTED-WE ARE TRYING TO GET CAR POOLS TOGETHER AS WELL.

FACEBOOK ATLANTA TEA PARTY LINK:
ATLANTA Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/editevent.php?success=1&picture=&ei…

THERE WILL BE SIMULTANEOUS TEA PARTIES IN THE FOLLOWING CITIES- SO IF YOU HAVE FRIENDS THERE- PLEASE ALERT THEM:

ORLANDO Tea Party
http://orlandoteaparty.webs.com/ or
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=52732245958

FORT WORTH Tea Party
http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/pol/1043946224.html

PITTSBURGH Tea Party
http://patcot.ning.com/events/pittsburgh-tea-party

SAN DIEGO Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?sid=cc2ea49f58818a3b02cb8bd777cad…

TULSA Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=65921648504

NASHVILLE Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1158742566#/group.php?gid=13…

ST. LOUIS Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=67775481561

HOUSTON Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=68423955662

PORTLAND Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=70993057673

KANSAS CITY Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/event.php?eid=127697555407

CLEVELAND Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128957625135#/event.php?eid=6…

DENVER Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=64135624433#/event.php?eid=64…

FLORIDA SW Tea Party
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=52447898610&ref=mf

SR7 Passes Committee on 3-2 Party Line Vote

california_voted

Proposition 8 Under Attack by California Legislators

The California Senate Judiciary Committee passed SR 7 this afternoon, expressing their opposition to Proposition 8’s lawful passage. Following the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s passage of the identical HR 5 last Tuesday, the senate committee approved SR 7 on a party line vote of 3-2.

“This is another slap in the face of millions of California citizens,” stated Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Family Impact. “The legislature completely disregards the will of the people by calling on the state supreme court to overturn Proposition 8.” England testified against SR 7 in the committee hearing this afternoon. “As I shared with the committee members, Proposition 8 is a valid amendment to the state constitution. To ignore the overwhelming support of citizens for traditional marriage proves just how out of touch lawmakers are with average citizens.”

Testifying with Karen England was an affiliate attorney from Pacific Justice Institute. On short notice, the legal organization was able to send their attorney who provided valuable testimony on the legality of Proposition 8.

Several organizations testified in favor of the resolution, including Alice Huffman, of the NAACP. Huffman likened the homosexual marriage issue to when the courts had “liberated” her people from suppression of the majority white race. “African Americans should be appalled that their race is being used to push a radical social agenda,” stated England. “We urge African Americans to contact the NAACP and find out why they have inserted themselves into the same-sex marriage debate.” Also testifying for the resolution was the ACLU, a professor from Loyola Marymont Law School, the California Nursing Association, Planned Parenthood, and a representative from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office.

Committee member Senator Tom Harman did a wonderful job pointing out the hypocrisy of SR 7 supporters in calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8. He questioned author Mark Leno about whether it violated the separation of powers to tell the court to rule the way the legislature encourages them to. Senator Dean Florez, who had historically supported traditional marriage in floor votes changed his position and voted in favor of the resolution. “Constituents in Senator Florez’s district need to call his office and find out why he has flip-flopped on this crucial issue,” commented England.

SR 7 supporters filled the committee room and England included in her comments to the committee that opponents were not given adequate notice to alert our side. Committee member Senator Mimi Walters responded that even though they weren’t present, her office’s phones have been ringing off the hook with calls from opponents to SR 7.

In his closing remarks to the committee, Senator Leno likened voters for Proposition 8 to Germans who supported the Nazi regime prior to World War II. “It is stunning to hear a California senator compare good, decent Californians to Nazis,” stated England. “How dare an arrogant senator compare the political battle over homosexual marriage to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Senator Leno should apologize to the millions of voters who supported Proposition 8. And he should stop using such inflammatory, hateful language.

“Californians should be outraged that their lawmakers continue to subvert our ability to pass laws via the initiative process. HR 5 and SR 7 are just the latest attempts to undermine the democratic process. It is lawmakers, not Proposition 8 supporters, who are violating the constitution with their political antics in these committee hearings.”

ACTION ITEMS:

It’s not too late!  The full vote will be in the next few days, possibly tomorrow! Call or Email Your representatives!  Find your reps here:

http://capwiz.com/capitolresource/directory/statedir.tt?state=CA&lvl=state

Contact Senator Florez and ask him why he wants the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8.
Dean Florez
Phone: 916 651 4016
Fax: 916 327 5989

Contact Alice Huffman about the NAACP’s active support on SR 7 and HR 5
Alice Huffman
916-498-1895

This information is from the Capitol Resource Institute who attended the SR7 hearing.

SR7 Committee Vote Today!

california_voted

SR 7 encourages the State Supreme Court to overturn the vote of the people and reinstitute their prior ruling that legalized homosexual marriages. For more information go here

CONTACT MEMBERS OF THE
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TODAY!!

Ask them to VOTE NO on SR 7!!
Vote Can Happen Anytime After 1:00 pm on February 24, 2009!!

Senator’s Name Phone Email Address
Ellen Corbett, Chair (D) 916 651-4010 senator.corbett@senate.ca.gov
Tom Harman, Vice Chair (R) 916 651-4035 senator.harman@senate.ca.gov
Dean Florez (D) 916 651-4016 senator.florez@senate.ca.gov
Mark Leno (D) 916 651-4003 senator.leno@senate.ca.gov
Mimi Walters (R) 916 651-4033 senator.walters@senate.ca.gov

For Senate Judiciary Committee Members Websites and information please go to:
http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/STANDING/JUDICIARY/_home1/PROFILE.HTM

Vote No on SR7 and HR5!

When you call and speak with your representatives, here are some points from Capitol Resource Institute that can be used to challenge some of the confusion that exists out there about Proposition 8:

“Prop 8 Revises, Rather than Amends, the Constitution?”

• A revision requires a “substantial change” to the “underlying principles” of the entire constitution. Applying the historic definition for marriage to all citizens equally constitutes a valid amendment.  Article 2, Section 8 of the state Constitution clearly sets forth the initiative process as a valid means of amending the Constitution. Codifying the definition of marriage via Proposition 8 was a proper amendment to the state Constitution.

“Undermines Equal Protection?”

• Equal Protection under the Constitution requires laws be applied regardless of an individual’s characteristics or situation, just as justice is administered blindly. Proposition 8’s amendment applies the definition of marriage equally, to heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals and all legal adults. Proposition 8 is actually the perfect example of a law that applies equally to all citizens.

“Eliminates Fundamental Rights?”

• Proposition 8 does not eliminate a fundamental right for only minority groups. It places the restrictions of marriage on all citizens equally. Just as same-sex individuals may not marry, so heterosexuals may not engage in polygamous relationships. There is also no fundamental right to marriage. That “right” was created by the California Supreme Court when it overturned Proposition 22.

“Violates Separation of Powers Doctrine?”

• Proposition 8 and the initiative process do not “strip the courts” of their constitutional function. In fact, Proposition 8 was a direct response to the California Supreme Court’s violation of the separation of powers doctrine. By striking down a law passed via the constitutional initiative process, the Court overstepped its authority and usurped the powers of the legislative branch and the constitutional initiative process.

Questions to ask:

1. The resolution emphasizes the importance of the separation of powers doctrine, but doesn’t this resolution violate the doctrine by directing the judicial branch’s decisions?

2. How does Proposition 8 violate Equal Protection when it applies equally to all citizens?

3. Why is the legislature spending money on this issue when we are in a budget crisis? We are using taxpayer dollars to overturn an initiative they just passed.

4. Aren’t we defying the separation of powers by even debating this issue when the court will be hearing it next month?


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